Dear Liquor Industry Members, Local Clerks, and Stakeholders:
The Liquor Enforcement Division (LED) is publishing this memorandum in the interests of transparency, anticipated compliance, and fairness to all who have put in work on the issues surrounding the value of labor over the past year. LED and the Colorado Department of Revenue would like to thank you for your thoughtful input, suggestions, and work on the value of labor regulation. We have heard all of your perspectives and concerns and have arrived at what we believe is a simple, clear, and fair regulation that helps level the playing field and encourages responsible growth in Colorado’s unique and robust alcohol beverage market.
The attached value of labor regulation will be enacted on an emergency basis. This emergency regulation tracks federal and state law regarding labor activities. It also prohibits acts of cleaning and premises maintenance that are the exclusive duty of retail licensees. The emergency regulation is designed to address specific industry issues and practices that have been brought to the attention of the LED. Particular attention was paid to the nuances of Colorado’s market forces and business relationships with an eye on helping them adapt to the extensive legislative changes we have seen in recent years. The emergency regulation will be considered for adoption as a permanent regulation at a formal hearing, to be held on August 6, 2019 at 9:00 A.M. in accordance with the attached Notice of Rulemaking Hearing.
As we move forward with other important rulemaking topics this year, we would like to remind all of our stakeholders that unlawful financial assistance and unfair trade practice abuses, as they relate to the value of labor, will remain at the forefront of our concerns and will be thoroughly, fairly, and appropriately investigated by the LED. In the spirit of partnership, the LED expects licensees to report these types of abuses immediately. Any found abuses will be taken seriously and acted upon appropriately. Should we see any substantial or continued abuses of this regulation over the course of the upcoming year, we will strongly consider a return to delivery and merchandising as the only permitted acts of supplier labor. As always, we expect our licensees to act responsibly and lawfully in their business decisions.
Again, we cannot thank you enough for all of your work in assuring that our state’s alcohol beverage market will be one in which every Coloradan is valued and able to thrive.